Skip to main content

Global Database of Quotas for Women

Go Search
New Atlas
Atlas, A-Z
Atlas Maps
MPP/MPA Programs
Core Topics
Illustrative Courses
Topic Encyclopedia
Concept Dictionary
Career Tips
Best Practices Project

African Development Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessments
African Economic Outlook
African Governance Report
Asian Barometer Survey
Asian Development Bank’s Country Policy and Institutional Assessments
Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Transformation Index
Bribe Payers Index
Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey
Business Freedom Component of Index of Economic Freedom
Cingranelli-Richards Human Rights Dataset
CIVICUS Civil Society Index
Commitment to Development Index
Comparative Political Data Sets
Comparative Study of Electoral Systems
Compendium of Sustainable Development Indicator Initiatives
Correlates of War Project
Corruption Perceptions Index
Countries at the Crossroads
Country Risk Analyst
Cross-National Indicators of Liberal Democracy
Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive
Dataset of Labor Rights Violations
Democratic Electoral Systems Database
Dow Jones Sustainability World Index
Easterly and Devine Dataset
Economic Freedom of the World Index
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Transition Report
European Crime and Safety Survey
European Protest and Coercion Data
Failed States Index
Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index
Freedom In The World Report
Gallup World Poll
Gender-Based Development Indices
Global Accountability Project
Global Barometer Study
Global Database of Quotas for Women
Global Integrity Report
Global Peace Index
Human Development Index
IMF Government Finance Statistics
Index of African Governance
Index of Economic Freedom
Institutional Profiles Database
Inter-Parliamentary Union Databases
Media Sustainability Index
Nations in Transit Survey
Opacity Index
Political Terror Scale
Polity Project
Polyarchi Dataset
Press Freedom Index
Prosperity Index
Relative Political Capacity
Transatlantic Trends
UN Social Indicators
UN Surveys on Crime Trends
UN’s Country Assessment in Accountability and Transparency (CONTACT)
Uppsala Conflict Data Program
Urban Governance Index
Voter Turnout Database
Women's Indicators and Statistics Database
World Audit Annual Report
World Factbook
World Governance Assessment
World's Competitiveness Yearbook


Global Database of Quotas for Women

Summary: The Global Database of Quotas for Women (GDQW) contains information on the use of electoral quotas for women.

Main Points: The electoral quotas presented by GDQW are defined as mandatory or targeted percentages of women candidates for public elections. An electoral quota for women may be constitutional, legislative or be in the form of a political party quota. It may apply to the number of women candidates proposed by a party for election, or may take the form of reserved seats in the legislature. Quotas and other affirmative action strategies may apply to minorities based on regional, ethnic, linguistic or religious cleavages. However this Database focuses on gender quotas, that is quotas that apply to women for elective office.

In this Database, the Quota Types referred to include:

·        Legislated Candidate Quotas: This quota provision reserves a number of places on electoral lists for female candidates.

·        Reserved seats: Reserves a number of seats in a legislated assembly for women.

·        Voluntary Political Party Quota: These are rules or targets set by political parties to include a certain percentage of women as election candidates. This does not include quotas for internal party structures.

These provisions may be mandated in different Quota Sources:

·        Constitution: The quota provision is provided for in the Constitution.

·        Electoral law: The quota provision is stipulated in the national legislation of the country.

·        Political Party Statute: A quota provision for the electoral lists formulated in the political party statutes.

The Database seeks to illustrate the status quo. Attention is primarily directed towards the quota legislation and political party quotas that are implemented today, but previous quotas that no longer apply may also be presented.

The aim of the Database is to provide key provisions relating to quotas, why, for some countries, detailed information on how the quotas came to be implemented can be found. The Database details quota regulations but does not specify whether these were complied with in the last election (other than by providing the number of women elected). The high or low representation of women may be because of factors other than actual implementation of quota regulations (such as the strength of the women's movement).

The data is presented according to which level it concerns. At the top of each country page, information on the quota system for the Lower House (if parliament is bicameral) or for the Single House (if unicameral) will be found. Due to the relative importance of the Single/Lower House to political decision making in most countries, this quota provision holds a substantial weight in promoting the political representation of women.

Access to database:

Source: Global Database of Quotas for Women, 2013

Page Created By:  Madina Junussova. The content presented on this page is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases. This material does not necessarily reflect the official view of the publishing organization.

Important Notices
© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance